Via announced its first deployment in Israel. Developed in partnership with public transit operator Dan Transportation, the new service, bubble, aims to increase mobility and reduce traffic congestion in Tel Aviv and the surrounding cities of Ramat Gan and Givatayim.
The service is part of a pilot program initiated by the Israeli Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transportation that seeks to explore how dynamic, on-demand mobility solutions can integrate with public transit to relieve Israel’s congestion issues.
Using the bubble app, riders will be able to hail a shuttle directly from their smartphone. Via’s advanced algorithms will enable multiple riders to seamlessly share the vehicle. The powerful technology will direct passengers to a nearby bus stop within a short walking distance for pick up and drop off, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours, or inconvenient fixed routes and schedules. The service will launch with a fleet of 40 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans, including wheelchair-accessible vehicles. The number of vans will rapidly increase to 100 by May 2019.
Ride fares are set at a flat $4.14 during rush hour and just $3.44 the remaining time, a significantly less expensive option than taking your own private car especially when considering parking costs. Riders can also choose to purchase a bubble pass, which discounts 10 rides even further regardless of the time of day. Senior citizens are eligible for an additional 50% discount.